The most important thing I learned from my mother is to allow myself to experience awe and wonder. To experience the feeling of wonderment is to experience a sense of delight with what is. It’s a moment of rest for the brain where you just accept and feel the feeling of “wow.”
As someone who is overly analytical and who could keep up with a three-year old on the frequency of uttering the word “why,” I particularly appreciate these moments when I’m simply too awed to think.
Today, I want to experience the joy of exploring beautiful flowers.
Instead of picking flowers, I photograph them. One would think that photographing flowers would be a relatively easy task. They are, after all, not going to run away.
However, given the flowers I most want to photograph are growing in colonies on a hillside, getting into the flowers with my big feet and a tripod turns into quite a feat of athleticism. I carefully plant the toes of one foot and balance like the karate kid on one leg as I try to gently create a space for my other foot; I am painfully reminded of how long it’s been since I last went to yoga class.
Once I get myself in a spot where I can put both feet on the ground without crushing anything, I bend down and look through the viewfinder to focus on the flower. The wind is blowing so hard the the flower is literally blowing completely out of my frame. I have to hold the flower gently with one hand while I move the camera a bit with the other. And, it turns out, I’m not close enough to the flower to focus.
I must stand, lift the tripod, find another clear spot for each of its legs and repeat the process of focusing and framing without moving my feet.
When I bend back over the camera again, desperately wishing for a place to rest a knee, my hand is shaking–I can’t keep the flower still enough to focus. I have to straighten up, shake out the soreness, and try again.
In the end, I am grabbing snapshots of a flower as it waves by my lens in the wind because I cannot stand the pain of the position I have to stand in to do otherwise.
While I suppose I could buy a bouquet at the store or even start growing flowers in a pot, one of the things I like about shooting flowers up close and personal in a park is the feeling of surprise. The first time I look inside a blooming flower with my macro lens, I see something I never expected to see. Going to the park and exploring flowers I can’t identify and have never seen before keeps me in a state of wonder.
I just didn’t expect photographing flowers to have a prerequisite of regular yoga classes.
- Uphill Battle (nomadicmainstream.com)